Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja
The Coalition of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Support Groups for President Muhammadu Buhari in the South-east has urged the leadership of the party and members-elect in the House of Representatives to support the emergence of someone from South-east zone as the Speaker.
The group lamented that the South-east zone was yet get a fair deal from the APC-led administration despite its averred willingness to run an all-inclusive government.
The Convener, APC South-East Renaissance Group and Coordinator of the South-East Support for Buhari, Hon. Chris-lance O. Onyemechara said the party should zone the office of the House Speaker to the South-east as compensation for years of exclusion.
He further said that since the politics of exclusion did not force the Southeast to change their loyalty to the opposition party, the APC should henceforth try adopting the politics of inclusion to make the difference.
According to Chris-Lance, any further exclusion was capable of fueling new wave of descent and agitation for self-rule by some elements in the Southeast.
He explained that the reason PDP had been dominating the South-east zone was because it allowed the area to produce candidates for top positions, adding that APC had opportunity now to change the narrative.
He said that those South-east electorate who voted for the APC needed an encouragement and not distraught for them to continue to support the present administration.
Chris-Lance who was flanked by the Co-Convener of the group and Secretary General of the South East Good Governance initiative, Prince Magnus Okeke said that in 2015, the APC denied the South-East principal-office positions in the National Assembly on the ground that it did not have a ranking member under the APC.
He expressed worry that having produced two ranking members, the party seemed set to shift the goal post again.
“We therefore call on other zones to withdraw from the race and support the South East in the spirit of fairness, justice and equity.
Our demand is simple zone the speakership of the House of Representatives to the South-East,” he said.
According to the Convener, a review of the vote haul of the APC in the 2015 presidential election and 2019 presidential elections in the South-East clearly indicates a more than 100 per cent improvement on the 2015 presidential Election outcome in the region.
He said that the expectation was that APC would compensate the Southeast zone now it has produced ranking members in the National Assembly.
“From established political norms and antecedents, in the spirit of natural justice and equity, what we thought our party would have naturally bequeathed us the Senate Presidency or the Speakership of the House of Representatives are now subjects of political contention and controversy.
“However, now that the party, in its wisdom, has decided to zone the Senate President position to the North-East, we strongly believe that the just and equitable thing for our party to do, is to zone the Speakership of the House of Representatives to the South-East,” he said.